Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

“God Out West”: Link Wray Sings Hallelujah

Between the years 1971-1974, Link Wray entered into a business relationship with Polydor Records that yielded four albums – but no singles (*actually, a small handful).  Link’s debut Polydor album, 1971’s  Link Wray, found him embracing his Shawnee heritage at a time when popular interest in Native American culture and history was at an all-time peak, as reflected in Paul Revere’s #1 hit, “Indian Reservation (Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)” and the release of the (second) Billy Jack vigilante film.

Link Wray LPLink Wray back cover

Songs were recorded at Link’s converted chicken coop 3-track recording facility in Accokeek, Maryland, with floorboard stomping and nail can shaking used as rhythmic accompaniment (i.e., no drum kit).  “God Out West,” written by drummer, Steve Verroca, is a song that taps into the “God Pop” feeling that was similarly widespread in the early 1970s:

I can see the morning sunlight
Through a foggy hazy gloom
Mountains reaching in the sky
These flowers in the desert bloom

I can see the silence in the night
I know they might need a rest
I heard a voice in the wind
He said, “Son, come out west”

Cause the Lord found me a place
Where I should be
High in the mountains
Where I can be free

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